Reporter's Note: President Obama continues to keep Health Care Reform on the front burner of his very crowded political stove. I continue to keep my hands on the keyboard, writing a letter a day to the White House.
Tom Foreman | Bio
Dear Mr. President,
Happy Saturday! Quite a week. I’m sure you can use a break, so I’ll keep it relatively light. I was thinking about this question of a Public Option for health care reform, and several things came to mind. For starters, you certainly need a better name for this. Marketing matters. I mean, how do you think Coca Cola would be doing today if they called it “brown fizzy stuff in a bottle”? Think back to your campaign. Your slogan was not, “I suppose if we generally all try perhaps something moderately decent might result.” No. It was “Yes, we can!”
Anything is better than “Public Option.” You could try “Mr. Obama’s Better Bargain Bio-Drome.” Or “The White House Wonder Cure!” Or “Dr. Government’s House of Good Health.” I don’t know. Those don’t seem to get it done either, but it’s something to work on. How is Biden with this sort of thing? (I can’t even remember his campaign slogan, so I guess the answer is “Not so hot.”)
Beyond that, I liked your speech well enough this week. I forgot to mention it amid all the kerfuffle over the heckler. Which brings me to another suggestion. Presuming that you’re going to keep speaking on this issue, I was thinking you should have some snappy retorts in case some wise guy starts sounding off again. How about, “Excuse me, but I don’t appreciate interruptions while I’m being the Leader of the Free World!” Or “Oh yeah, I remember how loopy I got when I wrote my first legislation too!” Or maybe “If I needed to hear from someone who wants my job I’d call the Secretary of State.”
One more thing, sometimes in DC you can just sort of sense the clock running out on an issue, and this one is really beginning to feel that way. Everyone I know is just getting tired of hearing about health care: People who want reform, people who don’t want it, people in between. It’s not that they don’t all consider it an important issue, but it’s beginning to be like one of those marital spats that goes on until you no longer know what you’re fighting about. So last piece of advice: I suspect it’s time to either get something done, drop it, or make it clear that it is going to be tabled for a while.
You can be hot in DC or cold, but boring? Come on, no president wants to fall into that trap! Call if you want to wish me luck on my half-marathon early Sunday morning. I may need some health care by the time it’s done! Ha!
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